Cocked And Loaded


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Here’s your weekly cartoon for CNN’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday for the rest of your life.

If you’re a Trump supporter, you can’t have it both ways. Oh, you’ll try but can’t. Cultists, where did Trump make the wrong call? Where did he mess up? You can’t say he did the right thing by ordering a strike and that he also did the right thing by calling it off.

Over the past few days, I’ve seen and heard the cultists give mad props to Trump for “exercising restraint.” Hey, congratulations, Mr. President for not going off  “half-cocked” after being all “cocked and loaded.”

By law, the president must be informed of all aspects before a military strike if he’s to do it without approval from Congress. Trump did not have approval from Congress. So, why would he order an air strike before he had the number of potential casualties on his desk? Trump claims he was told only after he asked, and only after he had already ordered the attack. He later changed his story about the planes being in the air at the time he called off the attack. Either Trump is lying or Trump is lying.

Out of the many, many, many reasons why Donald Trump should not be president, this may be the best argument for his removal, or at least not voting for him in 2020.

This was a crisis of Trump’s creation. He pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal without a replacement. Now, he plans to initiate sanctions for…wait for it…pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. This is why our allies no longer trust or respect us. Well, one of the reasons.

Trump has surrounded himself with war hawks like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. These are two men who are perfectly willing to sacrifice your children with thousands of Iranian children and throw the Middle East in total Earth-shattering chaos for their dogma. And, now it’s come out that he took war counseling advice from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. Before he became president, Trump warned us that President Obama would start a war with Iran to help his re-election. Maybe Trump thought it was a good idea. But, Obama never started that war nor did he ever seek counseling on it from TV show hosts.

Finally, Donald Trump doesn’t have the fortitude for making life-and-death decisions. At some point, he may order a strike just to prove he is tough. If anything, after throwing threat after threat at Iran, he walked out this weekend looking like a wimp.

Trump was right that an airstrike killing 150 people would not be a proportionate response to the downing of a drone, even a very expensive drone, which Trump has reminded us several times was “unmanned.” But he shouldn’t have ordered the strike in the first place. He shouldn’t have put us into a crisis with Iran that would lead them to shoot down a drone or attack oil tankers. No, Iran is not an innocent victim in this situation, but that puts more responsibility on Donald Trump to be the responsible adult. Unfortunately, Donald Trump isn’t even an adult less enough responsible.

A president must be able to comprehend as well. When talking about the strike and responding instead with sanctions, he brought up how Iran can’t be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, which has nothing to do with this crisis. That’s a separate issue…kinda like immigration and tariffs.

Trump chickened out of a fight he shouldn’t have started in the first place. Donald Trump is a poodle. He’s all bark and no bite and someone else is wagging his tail.

Creative notes and roughs: We set a record this week for the numbers of roughs drawn. Before we even started the conversation, I had eight ideas ready to go. I thought for certain that one of them would be chosen. Then, breaking news changed our direction and it was obvious we had to do something on Iran. After several more ideas, my editor expressed that he really wanted to play with the term “cocked and loaded.” While that gave me a direction to work with, it was kind of a small window to stay in. He even wrote an idea I didn’t understand and while on the phone, he realized it didn’t work.

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Then I sent him the above cartoon, which I wasn’t in love with. He liked the direction and suggested using the term “half-cocked.” I felt it needed tweaking. So, I sent…

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This, and then I sent…

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this.

We talked about which of the two versions worked better, one jet or jet. After getting another opinion from another CNN editor I’ve worked with, we decided to go with the one jet.

By the time we were done, I had given CNN 25 ideas. TWENTY FIVE. I told them it’s not as easy as I make it look.

I am having a great time working for them. After this cartoon was done, my editor called me about next week’s newsletter and cartoon because he already has the direction we’re going in. We’re going to have a very busy couple of days this coming week but I don’t think I’ll have to draw 25 roughs. I’ll be very happy if that record stands for a long time.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

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Watch Me Draw.

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